Support for agro-ecology
Sustain is working with a number of specialist groups who connect with smaller and medium-sized farmers and growers, and those practising organic and agro-ecological methods of production.
Promoting a diversity of UK farms is essential if we are also to achieve sustainable food production, good livelihoods in farming, opportunities for new entrants, and for communities to take back control of their food and where it comes from.
Much attention is rightly focused on where the money will go for farm support. Sustain champions a new, universally available Land Management Support scheme with three elements: a menu of outcomes; an organic scheme; and a whole-farm scheme. Specific LMS strands would be available to boost agro-forestry, extensive pasture-based livestock, horticulture; new entrants and succession planning. There is a strong case for front loading and/or capping payments to use the support wisely.
To promote diverse and sustainable farming methods and systems, Sustain has – for example:
- Involved agro-ecological farm practitioners and their associations in consultations and events, including in development of our key policy asks set out in Beyond 2020: New farm policy.
- Run two whole days of sessions at the Oxford Real Farming Conference 2018, involving farmers and many others in discussions about post-Brexit farming and land-use policy. It also featured a one-hour Q&A session with Defra Secretary of State Michael Gove.
- Run a range of specialist seminars and events and produced briefings and news updates to help farmers and many others engage in consultations and the rapidly developing farming policy process, and to help the keep informed on key developments that will affect farming policy and practices in the UK in the years to come.